What does accuracy and precision mean?

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Precision measurements are those which are repeatable - so all measurements are clustered around the same value. An accurate measurement is where you are close to the true value.
A measurement can be precise but not accurate. If you have a piece of string which is 75cm long. You measure it and come up with values of 60cm, 60.5cm and 59.5cm - your measurements are precise but not accurate.

See also 'The Story of Measurement' by Andrew Robinson. Published by Thames and Hudson (2007)
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